Henri II style large beautiful oak wall mirror, France, Neo-Renaissance style, facet cut glassware, ca. 1880.
Henri II style large beautiful oak wall mirror, France, Neo-Renaissance style, facet cut glassware, ca. 1880.

H 180 cm W 130 cm
Henri II mirror ca. 1880


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The Henry II style is the name given to the 19th-century decorative arts and architecture of the Second French Renaissance (corresponding to the reign of King Henry II) and modern creations imitating that style. Moreover, today it is rather used to denote this Neo-Renaissance style of French furniture, which was very widespread in the second half of the XIX Century and which persisted in the XX Century. This style developed during the Louis Philippe period. The furniture and decor take on the stereotyped forms of the Second French Renaissance: architectural decor, masks, trays supported by ringed columns, grotesques, acanthus leaves, large overhanging cornices, twisted balusters, and sculptures in bas-relief. The pediments are almost always decorated with a cartouche. The taste is in the “high time” including the Middle Ages, Renaissance and the first half of the XVII th century. The Henri II of the XIX th century is also a rather composed style, in keeping with the eclectic trend of the time, and often mixes with Renaissance forms belonging to Louis XIII style (or more rarely Louis XIV). The preferred woods are dark and solid, favoring oak and walnut, when not outright blackened in the manner of Napoleon III. It is clear that the changing nineteenth-century conventions surrounding the position of women had an influence on attitudes towards the use of the mirror. Vanity, self-love, physicality and even voyeurism became directly associated with the mirror and led male artists to represent the woman in front of the mirror as an ambiguous being indulging in sinfulness. For the nineteenth century, the mirror was much more than just a utensil and implied an art-theoretical commentary, social criticism or profound questions of life.

Shown is a large beautiful wall mirror in the Henri II style or (partially) industrial neo-Renaissance style. The frame is made of dark glossy solid oak and shows the typical shapes of the Second French Renaissance. We see turned baluster pillars on both sides, a large overhanging cornice that is manually decorated with carved acanthus leaves and a double shield pattern, with two sculpted lion heads in bas-relief on the outside with a copper ring through the nose. The glass of the mirror is facet cut all around and is in perfect condition. This mirror was probably made in France and dates from around 1880. It is a beautiful piece that belongs in every house with high ceilings. It has a nice glossy patina.

Condition: basically perfect.







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